Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hugo Blanco y su Conjunto

Artist: Hugo Blanco y su Conjunto
LP: Bailables No. 9: Agua Fresca
Song: "Agua Fresca"
[ listen ]
Song: "Oro Cochano"
[ listen ]

This isn't the first time I've posted music by Venezuelan harpie Hugo Blanco on my blog—see here and here—but it is the first time he's appeared on here since he died in the summer of 2015. RIP, Hugo Blanco. If anyone deserves to go on plucking and strumming their harp amongst the clouds for all eternity, it is you. Hugo released lots of Bailableses during his time here on Earth. "Agua Fresca," aka. "Bailables No. 9," came out in 1972. Find Hugo's full Palacio Records discography here.

The three things I'm going to remember most about Ithaca, NY and their local record store, Angry Mom Records, are these: 1.) Due to some big festival ("Apple Harvest" or something) there wasn't one single motel room available in the entire city the night I pulled into town—except one. And that one was listed at $77 on the internet, but the price was suddenly jacked up to $149 when I gave them a call on my quickly-dying cell phone. Why on earth would I spend $149 on a used bedroom when that same $149 could go toward the purchase of used Venezuelan disco-harp records instead? I slept in my car. 2.) There's no place I'd rather have coffee and breakfast after sleeping in my car than at The State Diner on State Street. 3.) Apple Harvest Fest is weird, and the people of Itlaca love donuts. They will line up for hours. For a donut. 

4.) People in Ithaca are simply wild about their local acapella choirs. 5.) It's hard to find a public restroom in Ithaca at night. 6.) Angry Mom Records has an amazing selection of records—especially in their 'World' and 'Soul-Funk-R&B' bins—and at really good prices too. I ended up buying 25 records here. 7.) The 'guy' employees at Angry Mom Records will not talk to customers. They aren't mean or anything, just mute. Questions are answered with a series of gestures or with actions instead of words. Upon inquiring if it would be alright for me to charge my cell phone somewhere in the store while I shopped, the guys took my cell phone and charger from me and plugged it in behind the counter...but without uttering a word. They were the friendliest, most accommodating store clerks with absolutely no customer service skills that I've ever met.

[ Hugo Blanco: September 25, 1940 — June 14, 2015 ]

[ Angry Mom Records — Ithaca, NY ]

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